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"All of a sudden, we had to go get chemo together."
Arnaldo Silva (AS) and Vanessa Silva-Welch (VSW)
AS: I’m sitting in an office with about 80 women, everybody’s staring at me. And this lady leaned over she says, ‘Are you waiting for somebody?’ and I said ‘No, I’m here for me.’ And I remember the doctor, he looked at me, he says ‘You have male breast cancer. And we gotta move right away.’ And then I was told that you had to get tested.
VSW: I took the genetic testing and went to do the mammogram. The technician put the film up to the light and I could remember my stomach cringing.
AS: All of a sudden, we had to go get chemo together
VSW: It was tough.
AS: It was. And everybody kept telling me ‘You have breast cancer? Isn’t that a woman’s disease?’ You know, but you were the first to say, ‘Dad, we’re gonna do this.’
VSW: I used to call you ’cause the only one who would really know what I’m going through right now is Dad. And there was never sugarcoating anything.
AS: There were times where I said, ‘I know why you’re calling me, listen, your fingernails are gonna start turning black, don’t worry!—’
AS: ‘—It’s the chemo.’ I felt like I was giving you a heads up.
VSW: But I think, being diagnosed again this year kind of did a number on me mentally. I did everything I was supposed to do, I did the chemo…
AS: Knowing that you’re fighting it now, again? It’s hard. Is this the way my kids are going to remember me? That I gave them this disease? I don’t know, there’s days I just want to leave the earth.
VSW: If it wasn’t for you and finding your lump, I would not be here. You saved my life. I’m here today because of you. So that’s what I want you to walk away with. I’m blessed to have a dad like you.
StoryCorps 477: Looking Out
Hear three stories from and about people who did what they knew was right as they went beyond what was expected while looking out for others. More
Carlos Walton and Jim Saint Germain
Jim Saint Germain and his former middle school dean discuss pivotal moments in their relationship and lessons Jim learned from his mentor.
StoryCorps is America’s oral history project. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected more than 60,000 interviews with over 100,000 participants from all backgrounds -- the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered.
Recordings are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress so that future generations can hear the stories – and the voices – of today.
We share stories online and through our popular weekly NPR broadcasts, podcast, animated shorts, and best-selling books. StoryCorps is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.